Bento Style Lunch Box: Easy Tips for Packing a Great Meal

269

Balanced nutrition is very important for your body to work effectively. Eating a proper amount of lunch at the right time can restore your energy and help keep your metabolism active. Bringing a lunch box with a carefully prepared lunch to school or work can make it easier to eat healthy every day. Portability is an important factor to consider, and a bento style lunch box is the ideal choice you can make.

What Is a Bento Lunch Box?

Simply put, a bento lunch box is a Japanese lunchbox. In the Japanese language, the word bento means comfort or convenience. The first mentions of Japanese lunch boxes appeared in 1580-1600. Since then, bento lunch boxes have been designed with care and provide enough space for a variety of textures, tastes and food groups. The bento box is a tray with two or more compartments of varying shapes and sizes, some are open and others that can be sealed tightly to hold liquids.

bento-style-lunchbox
Source: happymumhappychild.co.nz

The idea is to make use of every bit of space, so the meal is packed neatly and tightly into a small rectangular or square shape, which makes it easier for children and busy workers to transport. Preparing food for your children during early school years can be a daunting task. The same goes when it comes to preparing food for busy days at work when time is not on your side. You can choose a bento style lunch box for kids or adults made from a variety of materials. Most commonly, bento containers these days are made of stainless steel, glass, plastic or silicone and last for a long time if properly taken care of.

How to Choose Your Bento Lunch Box?

To choose the right bento lunch box for your needs, there a few important things to consider.

bento-lunchboxes
Source: goodiegoodielunchbox.com.au

Leakproof

If you’re looking for a leakproof lunch box, keep in mind that not all bento lunch box containers are made the same. Some have leak-resistant rubber seals that will prevent any liquids from leaking. Also, you can add leak protection to your lunch box by putting it in a waterproof bag or securing it with a wide rubber band.

Microwave Safe

If you have access to a microwave oven in your workspace and you’d like to use it to heat your food, make sure you buy bento lunch box that’s microwave safe. The typical Japanese bento is meant to be eaten at room temperature, but today you can find microwave-safe containers and heat up your lunch whenever needed.

Easy to Wash and Take Care of

If you think that you may forget to handwash your bento box or you simply don’t want to wash it, then opt for a dishwasher safe container. Many bento lunch boxes these days are dishwasher safe, so this should be an easy box to tickle.

Right Size

The lunch box you choose needs to be the right size for your dietary needs. Bento lunch boxes are available in a variety of sizes, so you can easily find the most suitable one if you’re watching your calories or if you’re buying a lunch box for your kids.

How to Pack Your Bento Lunch Box?

Bento lunch is typically neatly packed, so your entire meal is available and you can enjoy every part of it. The presentation can also play a big part of the meal, especially if you need to make a picky eater excited about the food they wouldn’t eat normally. To make the most out of it, here are a few simple tips that may help.

bento-lunchbox
Source: eatingwell.com

Begin with the Right Container

Look for a container with a good, secure lid. Depending on your preferences, you can choose a bento container with no dividers or one that has dividers and will allow you to create two sections or more. You can find bento lunch boxes with separate stackable compartments to store both liquid and solid foods. This style of bento lunch boxes is ideal if you like soup or stew.

What Do You Put in a Bento Lunch Box?

It takes just a little bit of planning to prepare homemade meals that both you and your children can enjoy. The contents of your bento lunch box are not limited to Japanese foods, as some may think. Foods such as sandwiches, wraps, pasta and salads can be included as well. Feel free to add snack foods, too, such as cheese and crackers and let your creativity and food desire come together.

One of the most important aspects of packing a bento lunch is nutrition. Typically, a bento box in Japan is packed with foods such as rice, fish or meat, vegetables and pickled vegetables, or a dessert. You can add vegetables and fruits, moderate amounts of lean protein and whole grains with a small portion of dairy. The varied sizes included in a bento lunch box make it easier to balance a healthy ratio of different types of food. Fill your bento lunch box with diet choices and carry a delicious meal to eat on the go.